Leavenworth council approves hiring of new city administrator

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After a split council vote last week Leavenworth has decided to move forward with the hiring of new city administrator Ana Cortez-Steiner as of June 1.

Cortez-Steiner was selected out of 20 applicants and three finalists by Mayor Carl Florea to replace former city administrator Joel Walinski.

Cortez-Steiner worked as an assistant city manager for Yakima and as city manager for Helena, Montana.

Cortez-Steiner says her first-year goals include getting to know the Leavenworth community on top of addressing the COVID-19 aftermath and getting the city back to normal.

“I think that anybody taking any position of leadership right now in the United States has to say that priority No. 1 is to address the COVID-19 aftermath,” Cortez-Steiner said. “How do we transition back into quote, unquote normal? What are some of the precautions that we have to take. What are some of the systems that we have to change. What’s the capacity we have to build and so on and so forth.

The City Council voted 4—3 to approve a contract with the new city administrator.

Those opposed cited an inability to make the hiring more of a public process.

Cortez-Steiner also was one of six finalists for the Aberdeen, South Dakota, city manager position and also recently interviewed for the city manager job in Middletown, Ohio.